The defeat was disastrous for the Russian team
The Russian hockey team experienced a sensational defeat on Sunday, when it was beaten by the Latvian team with the score 1:2. That was the second defeat of the Russian team at the world championship, which complicated the perspective for the future a lot. Now the team has to win the next match with Canadians in order to be able to get into quarter-finals. The Canadian team has already solved this goal. This does not make the situation easier, though, for Canadians always fight the best they can in any match.
During the hockey match between Russia and Latvia, the two teams managed to defend each other's goal for two periods. Leonids Tambievs from the Latvia team scored the first goal, and Russian player Alexander Frolov evened the score 33 seconds after that. However, 8,5 minutes before the end of the game, 25-year-old debutant of the Latvian team Vadims Romanovskis scored the key victory for his team.
It is worth mentioning that the Latvian hockey team entered the second group stage of the world ice hockey championship without even a victory. The victory of the Latvian team was extremely important from the political point of view as well: on May 4th Latvia celebrated the Independence Day - the Declaration of Independence was passed in Latvia on May 4th, 1991.
Olli Pulkkanen, the president of the Finland's hockey development foundation, flattered Russian's vanity, when she said that Russians underestimated the abilities of their rival. Olli Pulkkanen added that it explained the weak playing of the Russian team in the beginning of the match. After the first goal Russians "failed to get mobilized against the team, which was playing with greater enthusiasm," said she.
Russian sports reporters compared the Sunday's game to the match between Sweden and Denmark. The Swedish team did not play energetically, and the score was even for long - 1:1. Well, Sweden defeated a debutant team of the world championship later on.
That was the second time, when Russia was defeated by Latvia. The first time it happened at the word championship in 2000, in St.Petersburg - 2:3. That was a shock for Russia, for there were brilliant players in the team - Bure, Kemansy, Yashin, Zhaminov. Nowadays we have young players only, but this does not make anything different.
The head coach of the Russian hockey team Vladimir Pluschev said at a press briefing after the match that German referees were the major reason of the Russian trouble. Russian forwarder Pavel Datsyuk's opinion on the matter contained more self-criticism, when he said that Latvian hockey players did not let them play their way.